Good article and facts about the grieving child and how one can help.
Please also review our Child Grief Counseling Training to learn more and to become certified and trained in helping children grieve
The article, The grieving child, by Helen Lammers-Helps states,
When a child is facing the death of a loved one, our first instinct is often to try to shelter them. Unfortunately, following that instinct may do more harm than good.
One of the biggest mistakes people make is waiting too long to tell a child a loved one is dying, says Andrea Warnick, a Guelph, Ont. grief counsellor with more than 20 years’ experience.
Warnick says she understands the reluctance. It is difficult to tell the children — except it is usually worse to say nothing, in part because kids will often use their imaginations to fill in the unknown details, which may be even worse than reality. And they will often blame themselves.
“It’s never too early,” Warnick insists. “You don’t need to wait for absolutes.”
You can simply say that the doctors are concerned that Mom could die, she says, by way of example. Kids need to feel that they can trust the adults in their lives to be honest with them, which is important for resilience.
“It’s better for them to find out from those who are closest to them,” she continues, adding “there’s less anxiety when they know what’s going on.”
And when children have only one parent left, it’s important they know what the plan is if the remaining parent dies.”
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Please also review our Child Grief Counseling Training program